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Painted Jewelite

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by anthonyvanvolkinburg, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. anthonyvanvolkinburg

    anthonyvanvolkinburg New Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    Grand rapids michigan
    We have been doing a lot of custom colors for channel letters. I've been wondering how others have gone about painting their jewelite. We currently put masking tape on the inside edge of the jewelite to mask where we glue it. Then we paint it. It just seems like there could be a better way of doing this. We've talked about jeweliting the faces and then applying spray mask over the face and then painting the whole can and everything put together. But, it would be a bear to try and apply the spray mask onto an already jewelit face. Any suggestions are appreciated!
  2. henryz

    henryz Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    Long Beach, CA
    Only 2 ways that I can think of. The way you are doing it trim cap the letter mask and paint it, the other is paint the trim cap flat on a board then carefully trim cap the letter perhaps with magnets. I prefer #1 painting the can and trim cap separate.
  3. Starter

    Starter Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    Halifax NS
    I usually paint the trim after it's applied to the face. I haven't tried painting it then applying....I was fearful the paint may crack or be compromised and I wouldn't notice until weeks later.
    I would also suggest using an adhesion promoter (94 Primer or a plastic promoter) before paint and a little scuff with fine sandpaper. I have done this many times and have never had a return or failure yet...KNOCK ON WOOD .
  4. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    +1 apply vinyl before and trim cap with paint mask trimmed clean to edges, prior to painting.
    paint seperately, face-up, cleaning overspray from backside of the acrylic if need-be.

    If you paint assembled letters, as you'll have a heck of a time pulling the faces off the channel letters for install/service & run the risk of exposing unpainted areas after re-assembly.
  5. Starter

    Starter Member

    Mar 20, 2013
    Halifax NS
    As MikePro said.... I should have mentioned that I always paint the trim while on the face only....not while it is attached to the can.
  6. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    We paint trim cap once in a while. Since we use Matthews paints almost exclusively, we follow the protocols in the Matthews manual for painting trim cap:

    1. Clean with 45330 Speed Prep Cleaner
    2. Abrade with Scotch Brite pad (I usually spray glue a pad to the DA sander)
    3. Clean again with Speed Prep
    4. Apply one wet coat of any Matthews topcoat mixed properly with 47474 Flex Additive
    5. 10-15 minutes to flash
    6. Apply a second wet topcoat with Flex Additive.

    The paint sticks very well. Matthews Tie Bond Adhesive (adhesion promoter for plastic) is not recommended in conjunction with Flex Additive.


    I always glue the trim cap onto the acrylic faces first, before painting it, but I usually scuff the trim with the DA before gluing.

    It's very easy to mask the faces using Spraylat liquid maskant. In fact, I just brush it on, usually. After it's dry the maskant cuts easily with light pressure from a No. 11 blade. If the trim cap is already scuffed before you glue it, then you can paint as soon as you cut and strip the Spraylat off the cap. Any maskant that fills into small gaps where the trim cap ends come together imperfectly will pull right out cleanly. The maskant also helps to pull off any final debris or dust that was still on the trim cap after scuffing.

    I could paint the cap first, before gluing—Flex Additive allows Mathews paint to bend without cracking—but I prefer not to simply because I'm afraid I'll get glue on the fresh paint when I'm capping. I tack the joint with Weld-on No.3 first, then follow it with a heavy bead of Weld-on No.16, and sometimes the Weld-on 3 dribbles onto the table.

    You can paint screw heads at the same time you paint the trim.

    Brad in Kansas City

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